Love or lust? There is quite a debate and people being mistaken on fully understanding those two terms; however, building a robust relationship with your partner in life or bed takes a two-way approach. Unsurprisingly, for many, it all comes down to the tiny ‘satisfaction’ part that, if not achieved rightly, can deteriorate a relationship irrevocably.
Many of us are familiar with one of the top-rated steamy series of Sex/Life on Netflix, played by the main protagonist Sarah Shahi (Billie Connelly), her devilishly hot ex-boyfriend, Adam Demos (Brad Simon), and her generous husband, Mike Vogel (Cooper Connelly) which was released in June this year.
But what makes it more catchy and captivating is that the story revolves around a lost spark in an otherwise perfect marriage, haunted by Billie’s wild past of satisfying orgasmic sex with Brad, which compels us to rethink our choices on how to maintain a lasting healthy relationship.
New research published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships showed that while a healthy relationship depends on many other domains like communication skills, interpersonal virtues, and intrapersonal identities, the vital ingredient which makes it everlasting is ‘acceptance’ of who we are to our true selves.
According to Tanya Koens, who is a relationship expert, and counsellor and runs her segment, the independent, non-profit FBI Radio in Sydney said; “it is the image and expectations people build up in their minds and crave the same standard from their partners and that eventually leads to unfulfilling sexual experience”.
“It’s the notion of perfection, and the intimate encounters that couples had in their past relationships, are sometimes entrenched in their minds so unconsciously that even trying to make it work, they end up feeling resentful”.
She also told Hatch that to sustain a healthy, loving relationship; both partners need to be their authentic selves avoiding the ‘behavioural pattern’ that they can’t let go of, give and take equally with effective communication or through mindfulness.
So it turns out sex being a tiny part of our day-to-day lives can cripple a successful relationship/marriage if not performed fully invested. However, an article from the BedSider publication suggests some tips on navigating the honeymoon [sex] phase where the spontaneity in love is at its peak and to steer clear of detachment from each other.
Mansour Shukoor, a freelance journalist for various publications and studying at Macleay College, told Hatch, “the bond you make with a girlfriend/boyfriend is so hard to replicate with another person. So when a relationship ends, you instantly think, now I have to recreate that bond that possibly took months and years, all over again”.
“Because I’m constantly thinking about how everything I wanted is now in the past like your ex knows what you like sexually, and you have to teach all that again,” he said.
He also added, “If I enter a relationship and it has been a few years, for it to just end would demotivate me to want to move on anytime soon, and if I do move on, it will not be healthy.”
A sexual relationship is a basis for mental health and maintaining a healthy lifestyle simultaneously. New and highly well-conducted research showed that the overall well-being was higher among those with a satisfying sex life than those earning a high income. However, excessive workload showed a massive decline in the excitement and arousal levels irrespective of physique and sexual orientation.
It has also been suggested that partners should keep trying ‘new things’ as long as they feel comfortable with it when it comes to love-making to keep it ignited. Often, people treat this activity as a routine act, whereas that is one of the most private and crucial times partners can give each other to keep the bond intact.
Unenbet (Ona) Bayarsaikhan, 29, who is a working single-mum and a proud member of our gender-diverse community, said; “I was yearning for something I couldn’t decipher before coming out, my ex-boyfriend and I had a relationship which wasn’t going well in terms of fulfilling sexual experience, which made me want to explore about my sexuality and coming out as ‘lesbian’. It’s a roller coaster ride, and I have had my ups and downs; I was living a life that fits society’s standards of acceptance, but I am pretty happy with where I am now”.
Speaking to Hatch, she also added, “People have their kinks, fetishes or alternative, erotic lifestyles, and somehow these turn-ons facilitate in making a connection deeper. For me, feeling desired is the main aspect of having sensual and passionate lovemaking, which my former partner lacked at large. That put me off from relishing the whole experience”.
“There is a dire need for education and awareness acknowledging these issues, especially in those third world countries where it is still considered a taboo to talk on such things. It’s not about being vocal of your needs but demanding to be treated equally and fairly.”, she said.
Our fantasies and desires are all identical and unique simultaneously, and there is no such thing as ‘normal’ to collectively gauge and compare one’s cravings when it comes to sex. It’s all about experiencing what feels right at the moment; therefore, navigating a healthy love life is totally up to a couple of people in an intimate relationship.
Dr Nikki Goldstein, who is a renowned relationship expert, author and two-times voted for Australia’s best sex educator, said while pinpointing the primary reason behind relationship fallouts; “its the emotional stability that binds the couple or people in a bond with this cohesive force that no matter whatsoever hurdle they stumble upon, they make the best out of it together”.
“Reconnecting with your partner, especially in these unprecedented times with lockdowns on top, has not only affected the chemistry and compatibility in between but also the lack of physical touch and stress going around with it, especially in long-distance relationships where partners need to be vulnerable and open up about their insecurities and fears clearly, and that can mitigate the factor of not being present a lot,” she said.
Dr Goldstein also highlighted that people in open and polyamorous relationships tend to be more supportive individuals and that forgiving we need the same substantial qualities in more monogamous relationships to make them work efficiently.
It turns out the art of love and desire is not how far you can go with the ‘Kama Sutra‘, but how you can make the other person feel by being present in the moment emotionally and mentally.